TV Review: ‘Home Before Dark’ Season 2
by Rachel Bellwoar
A lot happened last year on Home Before Dark (so much so, that if you need a refresher this video is a good place to start). Season two picks up almost a year later, though that time jump is hardly felt, as Hilde (The Florida Project’s Brooklynn Prince) and her dad, Matt (Across the Universe’s Jim Sturgess) have been continuing to look for clues in the Richie Fife (Kiefer O’Reilly) case. Nothing new has come up, except Hilde has started having nightmares, leading mom (Justified’s Abby Miller) and dad to make the executive decision that they need to stop the investigation.
This, naturally, doesn’t go over too well with Hilde, but her parents don’t stick to their guns, either. Despite finding other cases to work on season two is still very much about Richie – which could be a problem going forward, especially if the show gets renewed for a third season.
Hilde, like the real Hilde Lisko — Hilde Lysiak — is a reporter, but the Fife case was written for the show. Not only does the case get thinner in season two, but it seems like every bad thing that’s ever happened in Eerie Harbor is somehow related to Richie. Eerie Harbor’s a small town but eventually this tests believability and keeps Hilde from getting to chase other stories.
Not that Hilde doesn’t have her pick of strange incidents to report on this season. Scott Lawrence (JAG) joins the cast as Trip’s dad, who’s being hassled to sell his farm, while a flock of birds dying and falling from the sky doesn’t seem to upset anyone outside of Hilde’s circle.
Home Before Dark still shows a great awareness for not letting any character fall through the cracks or be left with nothing to do. Dan Byrd (Cougar Town) is the one exception to this rule, as his introduction as the new school librarian never goes anywhere, but everyone else has a character arc. Frank (Michael Weston) and Matt have a great city boy, country boy thing going on this season and despite their romance feeling tacked on a bit, Weston and Joelle Carter (Principal Collins) play the most out of their scenes together.
Trip (Aziza Scott) is having a rough time as sheriff. The Attorney General has sent an investigator to audit the department and while it makes sense that she’d need to draw some lines with Hilde and not be her source, the not believing her seems out of character after everything they’ve been through.
Prince continues to find the truth in every scene, as Hilde gets put through the emotional wringer. It’s a testament to her performance that you can forget that she’s a kid and some of the best scenes are when you’re reminded of that, like when Matt explains journalistic bias to her or when Hilde is able to have a conversation with him about being there for a friend.
The first episode of season two is streaming now on Apple TV+. After that new episodes of Home Before Dark will stream on Fridays. Be sure to keep an eye out during the opening credits sequence for new clues, as the show takes a leaf from Game of Thrones‘ book for the animated titles.